KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Saint Xavier (Ill.) receives its sixth-straight No. 1 ranking in the third regular-season edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Cougars, who are fourth all-time with 14 No. 1 rankings since 2000, claimed all 14 first-place votes and 314 points en route to the top spot.
The Cougars are 4-0 on the season following a 36-26 road victory against Trinity International (Ill.) on Sept. 22. Saint Xavier, who has now won 18 of its last 20 contests, showcased its offensive power against the Trojans with 508 total yards - second highest output in 2012 - including 362 yards through the air. Backup quarterback Joe Gill completed 22-of-37 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns, as wide receivers Chase Catton and Nick Pesek tallied 109 yards receiver apiece.
Marian (Ind.) stayed at No. 2 with 301 points. The Knights registered their second victory of the season against a Top 25 opponent with a 31-20 win against then-No. 15 Grand View (Iowa) in the NAIA Football Game of the Week.
Similarly to Marian, Georgetown (Ky.) remained No. 3 with 291 points, while Morningside (Iowa) and Missouri Valley are tied for the No. 4 position with 272 points each.
Doane (Neb.) made the biggest jump within the Top 25, moving from No. 23 to No. 19 after a 38-24 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan on Sept. 24. Eastern Oregon's fall from No. 8 to No. 14 was the largest drop of any team still ranked. The Mountaineers movement was due to a 28-7 loss against then-No. 11 Carroll (Mont.). With the victory, Carroll advanced three spots to No. 8.
Rocky Mountain (Mont.), ranked 22nd last week, was knocked from the poll following a 24-6 home loss against No. 16 Montana Tech. The defeat was the second-straight for the Battlin' Bears.
No. 25 Faulkner (Ala.), the week's only newcomer, is making its first-ever appearance in the Top 25. The Eagles own a 3-1 record after defeating Lindsey Wilson, 43-41, on Sept. 22.
The Great Plains Athletic Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference and Mid-States Football Association Midwest League lead all conferences with four representatives. Nine conferences/independents are represented in this week's Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. For the entire 2012 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll schedule, click here. The next Top 25 will be announced on Oct. 1.
For more information on NAIA football, please click here.
NOTES: Saint Xavier's (Ill.) No. 1 ranking marks the sixth-straight time - 14 of last 16 - the Cougars have received the top spot ... Carroll's (Mont.) No. 12 ranking on Sept. 10 marked the first time the Fighting Saints have been ranked outside the top 10 since Nov. 2, 2004 ... Additionally, Carroll had a 91-straight top-five rating streak end ... Sixteenth is the highest ranking for Montana Tech since being No. 20 in the Nov. 5, 2007 poll ... Faulkner's No. 25 ranking marks the first-ever Top 25 mention for the Eagles ... Carroll leads all institutions with 56 first-place rankings and is followed by former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (23), Saint Xavier (14) and former NAIA member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) ... Saint Francis (Ind.) boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll with 159 ... Following Saint Francis among consecutive appearances is Carroll with 144, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with 70, Morningside (Iowa) with 62 and Saint Xavier with 49 ... Since 2000, only three programs have lasted the entire season ranked at No. 1 - Carroll (2003, 2005), Sioux Falls (2009), Georgetown (2001).2012 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (Sept. 24)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14)||4-0||314|
|7||7||William Penn (Iowa)||4-0||242|
|9||10||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||3-0||213|
|10||12||Saint Francis (Ind.)||3-1||203|
|11||13||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||2-1||185|
|17||18||St. Francis (Ill.)||3-2||111|
|18||15||Grand View (Iowa)||3-2||95|
|21||20||Valley City State (N.D.)||3-1||77|
|22||19||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||3-0||72|
Others receiving votes: Friends (Kan.) 19; Hastings (Neb.) 13; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 7.